Following the decisions by the government to open the country for tourism for both EU and non-EU citizens as of April 1, Cyprus has provided stability for tourist companies, tour operators and air carriers for the upcoming summer tourist season, Deputy Minister for Tourism Savvas Perdios has told CNA.
Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency following a meeting under the President of the Republic with the Association of Hoteliers and the Ministers of Finance, Labour, Transport and Health and the Deputy Minister for Tourism, held yesterday in the Presidential Palace, Perdios said the message he conveyed is that following the opening to non-EU countries as of April 1st the backdrop for stability in the tourism sector is in place.
The Cypriot government decided that as of March 1 and April 1 the airports will open for tourists from EU member-states and non-EU countries respectively on the basis of the ECDC country categorisation which classifies countries into green, orange and red categories.
“This means that out target to open the country for tourism as of April based on the ECDC protocols is achieved,” Perdios told CNA, noting that as of April 1 Cyprus will open up for its main tourist markets, Britain, Russia, Israel as well as the Ukraine, Lebanon, the Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar.
Although these countries are still included in the ECDC’s red category and will require two negative Covid-19 test before entering Cyprus, Perdios noted that the main difference is that quarantine is no longer necessary and consequently air connectivity with Cyprus will not interrupted.
“But the message to our tourist markets is that as of April we will be open so that reservations can be made for the upcoming summer season and now there is stability for the purpose of planning,” he added.
Furthermore, Perdios noted that the Deputy Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and the Cyprus airports operator, Hermes, will devote March for consultations with tour operators and air carriers “to achieve the best we can for the upcoming tourist season.”
The Covid-19 pandemic dealt a severe blow to the island’s tourist season with arrivals in 2020 dropping by a record 85% compared with 2019 after successive record years.